We had to the Opportunity to have a conversation with Shawn Jones, Founder of Gentlemen’s Driving Club and got to learn about his amazing journey. Have a look at this conversation below.
Q1 Who is Shawn Jones in real life?
Shawn Jones is an entrepreneur, foodie, sports lover, and intellectual. When I am not dreaming up new ideas for my brand I am watching or playing sports, attending car shows and events, reading, trying out a new recipe or restaurant, and spending time with family. I think its important to work hard but you also need to form other hobbies and interests to make your life complete.
Q2 What is the Gentlemen’s Driving Club?
Gentlemen’s Driving Club is an apparel and media company. GDC represents the true gentlemen, the ultimate car enthusiast, and those that want apparel to truly symbolize their vehicle. We create apparel that makes you ready wherever your vehicle may take you. We are the only driving club striving to match the quality of our apparel to the quality of your car no matter what you may drive. Gentlemen’s Driving Club describes the feeling you get when driving the vehicle you love. Our apparel embodies the passion one feels while going 100 mph or cruising down the highway and thinking about nothing more than the wind in your hair and the roar of the exhaust. We live this lifestyle and want to give people who share these emotions an apparel brand that DRIVES YOU.We are an exclusive club, that invites the elite gentlemen in the driving game to be apart of a growing family taking over the world one car & one gentleman at a time
Q3 What all problems did you face in your career?
I think I faced all the same problems must brands do; building an audience, gaining trust, and making a name for ourselves. People always ask me how I was able to do those things so fast and the answer is simple. Hard work and clear direction. I am from Houston, TX and here construction workers are constantly building homes. What I noticed however is that some projects were completed extremely fast and efficiently and others much slower than expected. The reason is because the successful builders worked hard and had clear direction on what the final goal was. Building a brand is like building a house. Each action you take is equivalent to adding another brick to the foundation. Every item you ship, every customer you speak with, every social media post you make, etc Assuming no storms arrive at some point you will have built a brand name. I am 25 years old and despite my brands success I know I am not where I want to be yet so I continue to lay bricks knowing that each one gets me closer to “my house” being built.
Q4 What circumstances made you Pivot from your original idea?
We started as an apparel company for car enthusiasts who wanted to dress more stylish and gentlemanly than what was currently on the market. Since our humble beginnings just under two years ago our apparel is worn in 9 different countries and worn by over 4,000 drivers!!! So with so much success why switch up and create an online community? Our drivers started to ask the question whats next?” The GDC online Cars and Coffee Club is a place where car enthusiasts can go to talk shop, show off their rides, get repair and modding advice, buy,sell, and trade parts with other members, get free exposure for your builds, and receive free stickers! I knew that in order to survive we needed to create a more interactive experience.
Q5. What were those defining moments in your career that gave you a sense of accomplishment?
The moment I knew I had started something big was when someone who knew absolutely nothing about us purchased our apparel after simply reading our story. That to me was very powerful, the fact that an idea and a story could influence someones buying decision so strongly. Another defining moment was when we started receiving orders from all around the world. We have shipped to Australia, Russia, Finland, Canada, The Netherlands, and every state in the US. To me a first time business owner from Houston, Tx to do international business in his first year blew my mind but the icing on the cake was matching my job income in the first 12 months of starting the brand. When you can do that it gives you a certain type of swagger.
Q6 What would you say to your younger self?
If I could go back and tell my younger self one thing it would be to get a financial education early and make for certain that you always have working capital.
Q7 Is there anything you’d like to say to our readers?
To everyone reading this story I hope it inspires you to create your own brand and start laying the bricks to your brand and financial future. If you are interested in learning more about Gentlemens Driving Club please contact me: Gentlemensdrivingclub@gmail.com